Robert’s column

Robert’s column

Robert Barron column: There’s still a place for old-time Christmas presents

One of my favourite toys as a child was Lego

It’s often said that Christmas is for kids and, looking back, it seems to be the truth.

I remember as a child lying in bed on Christmas Eve and not being able to sleep because of all the excitement in the house.

I would wander around from room to room bothering my older brothers and sisters until about 5 a.m., which I figured was late enough to finally wake my parents and get the party started.

Nobody was allowed near the tree until everyone was gathered outside the living room.

The rush into the living room where the Christmas tree and all the presents were was probably the most exciting few moments of every year when I was a toddler, even though being the youngest and smallest meant that I risked being toppled over if I got in the way of bigger and older siblings in the initial charge.

Gifts of every kind were everywhere (did I mention I have six siblings?) and I would spend the day playing with my newest dinky cars, race tracks that had to be assembled and toy table-hockey games, amongst other treasures.

Kids’ toys were different in those pre-computer days, with more of them hands-on and requiring at least some physical activity and social interaction to play them.

It seems that these days, for many kids, it’s all about the newest computer games and the latest cell phones with lots of apps.

One of my favourite toys as a child was Lego, which consists mostly of interlocking plastic bricks for those not familiar with the brand.

I had thought Lego had pretty much gone the way of the dodo, but was amazed when I was invited to a friend’s house recently and found the household absorbed in building a very complicated and impressive looking English double-decker bus out of Lego.

Apparently, someone at the Lego company (who deserves a raise) had come up with the idea to make Lego sets for adults and families that allows them to build complex buildings and other structures using very specific instructions that come with the set.

Apparently, Lego has had a resurrection of its business as a result.

I was also surprised to come across an Etch A Sketch last weekend.

For those born after the Reagan administration, Etch A Sketch is a drawing toy in which two white buttons are used to draw lines across a screen in different directions to make pictures.

I had one when I was young and used to spend hours trying to draw complicated pictures.

Unfortunately, my artistic skills are almost non-existent and my drawings looked more like something a Neanderthal might have come up with.

But it was fun trying and I was more than pleased when I attended our staff Christmas party and discovered my colleague Darin Lashman’s young son Lennox sitting in a chair absorbed in drawing with an Etch A Sketch.

I asked Lennox, a rather gregarious young man much like his father, if he enjoyed playing with the Etch A Sketch as much as computer games.

Lennox said that while he, like most of his peers, loves computer games, he also likes games that you don’t have to plug in or recharge.

It seems there is still a place for old-time toys these days, and I encourage those still Christmas shopping this year to remember that when buying for the kids.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley school district to get new electric-powered bus by the end of the school year. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley school district to get new electric-powered school bus

Bus one of 18 to be distributed across the province

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

This tractor was stolen from Providence Farm near Duncan between May 6 and 7, 2021. (Submitted)
Tractor stolen from Cowichan’s Providence Farm

John Deere X300 model was swiped between May 6 and 7

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read